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Using external poles to a GoLite Shangri-La 3 or 5, or other pyramid tarp?
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Aaron Reichow

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Using external poles to suspend a GoLite Shangri-La 3 or 5, or other pyramid tarp? on 10/04/2010 16:47:35 MDT Print View

I've been looking at the GoLite pyramid shelters, SL-3 and SL-5, as well as similar offerings from Oware. I like the design in general, and would like to try using one for car camping in addition to backpacking. Only problem is that my wife is not convinced that the center pole thing would be practical for a family in the real world. I've talked with folks here and elsewhere which find it works well for their family, but it's probably not a war I can win.

I had an idea whilst pondering how to extend the usefulness of such a shelter to car camping. I've used a few dome tents which had 3-6 rib poles extending from the ground to the center of the tent, all meeting at a single hub. I can think of at least on which had a loop hanging off to which you simply clipped the tent to.

Has anyone tried this with a GoLite SL-3/5, etc? Seems like a bit of a long shot, as heavy pole systems aren't usually tolerated by BPLers. Probably not worth the cost, either, unless I can cobble it out of spare parts.

Out of left field a bit, but I thought I'd kick it out there...

Edited by areichow on 10/04/2010 16:48:07 MDT.

Chris H
(-NXP-) - F

Locale: Upper Midwest
SL3 on 10/04/2010 18:50:03 MDT Print View

I've got an SL3, and IMO you'd need a pretty small family to get everyone in there, even without the center pole! Mine's just for me, if the family comes we definitely need something larger.

I have hung it suspended from a static line overhead, it takes a bit of experimenting to find the best height to hang the suspension line, but in the end it works out.

I suppose if you could find a couple long pines or some smaller slashing you could make a 3 pole setup for it, but "trimming" in most areas is frowned on.

If you will ever use it for more than yourself, take the extra 7oz penalty and get the SL4/5. The extra room is GREATLY appreciated.



Aaron Reichow

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Re: SL3 on 10/04/2010 19:28:02 MDT Print View

Thanks Chris! For my family, it'd be the SL-4/5/6 or a big Oware tarp for sure. Brought up the 3 mostly because it's a similar style shelter. I may have to give it a whirl with canabalized fiberglass poles and some new shockcord.

Michael Richey

Locale: Southern Utah
Shangri-La 5 on 10/04/2010 19:37:08 MDT Print View

I use the 5 for family backpacking and some car camping. I haven't found the center pole to be much of an issue. the first couple of times it will take some getting used to, along with getting the thing set up right. I sleep in there with two kids and my wife and that pretty much fills it up (that's without the inner tent). The material is very thin, but very strong in the wind. I've done 4 season backpacking with it and it's a real champ. Cooking breakfast while in the tent is not too bad either. If there is wind though, you'll definitely want all the stakes and tie-outs to be used.

Aaron Reichow

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Re: Shangri-La 5 on 10/04/2010 20:18:59 MDT Print View

Personally, I'm not that concerned about the center pole, but my wife is. Even without the contrived external poles, there wouldn't be a problem pitching the tent using a tree instead of the center pole- most of our hiking and car camping is in Minnesota and Wisconsin, where trees are plentiful.

It's sort of a budget trick- the SL-5 is an expensive bit of gear for us, and it'd easier to justify if it can be used for hiking and car camping. If funds were unlimited, I'd get the SL-5 just for hiking and a Big Agnes Big House 6 just for car camping, and then find out if the SL-5 worked well car camping.

How old are your kids? Ever have problems with the thin silnylon/PU nylon? I'm thinking mostly if your kids are young. Thanks!

Scott Lehr
(lehrscott4) - F

Locale: Louisville - KY
From above on 10/05/2010 05:49:12 MDT Print View

I use a floorless tent and my trick it to hang it from a branch or rock above the tent. I will usually set it up with the center pole to get a nice and tight pitch, then remove the center pole and tie some para-cord around the peak and to an above branch, leaving an open floor area. Works great unless you have nothing to tie to. I use the Appytrails Mark III and they make a larger version as well.